News Centre

The Caritas Challenge


The Caritas Challenge Night Event took place this weekend as a group of Year 12s and 13s willingly spent the night in the school gymnasium. The concept of this event is to simulate life as someone who faces adversities, such as war in South Sudan.

This highly anticipated event kicked off with students being grouped into teams of six. These teams are villages who compete against each other for the title of Caritas Challenge winners 2019.

The students began the challenges on Friday after school and continued to fight through the fatigue until Saturday morning.

The first challenge involved each team carrying buckets of water, medicine balls, as well as all the items they brought with them for the night around the field. The team who managed to carry the most items around the field received the most points. This challenge simulated the lives of children living peacefully in South Sudan until the civil war struck in December 2013. Even in the real world today, many people have been forced to flee their homes to seek refuge in other places; only being able to carry a limited number of items with them.

The second challenge required each team to make as many rosaries as they could in an hour. This challenges students to think about the effects of working endless hours without getting paid. Displaced children are often taken advantage of with many of them forced to be child labourers working in sweatshops.

The next event was dinner time where the current leaders had the option of rice, bananas, apples, oranges, salt, bread and butter. Each team’s food rations decreased in portion size the lower down the leaderboard.

The challenges were put to a halt as the head prefects of 2018 made a guest appearance at the Caritas Challenge. John Purification and Martina Kleis ran a workshop for the students.

The challenges continued and the teams returned to their simulation where the workshop building they made rosary beads in is raided by a rebel group. They are trained to be child soldiers and face challenges to test their wits and reaction times. This was done through the activities “Bring Me” and “Bang.”

This same rebel group has now taken the students back to their camp and left them to set up their huts. Each team were given a set amount of materials. By using their creativity, they were able to build shelters throughout the gymnasium.

The final challenge before the students were allowed sleep was a night-time scavenger hunt reaching all corners of Sancta Maria College. Each team scouted for clues to uncover the location of a puzzle which they were then left to solve.

As the next morning arose, the sleep-deprived students had finally reached the end of their simulation. After some significant reflection, the students were rewarded with a classic kiwi BBQ to complete the Caritas Challenge experience.

A huge thank you goes out to David Patlong, the student leading this event and his team: Aislinn Manuyag, Tahlisa Stevens, Zoe Chou, Joseph Bourne and Katrina Chan. Another huge thank you goes out to the teachers involved in helping this event run smoothly: Mrs Stevens, Mrs King, Mrs Al-Rubaie, Mr Piggin, Mr Tamayo, Mrs Bradley, Mrs Vercoe, Ms Smith and Mr Schollum.

Katrina Chan